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Senior and Disabled Community Advisory Committee Hosts Meet-and-Greet Dance

(L-R) Maria Chavez, Lauretta Johnson, Karen James, LaBerta Collins, Louis "Gurley" Shaw, Vice-Chairperson Gene Andreas, Serena Padilla and Leonard Dallas Chairperson.

On Friday, August 25, the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community’s Senior Services Department held its first Senior and Disabled Community Advisory Committee (SDCAC) meet-and-greet dance at the Community Building.

SDCAC has been part of Senior Services since 1998, and the purpose of the committee is to bring forward the issues that are important to seniors and present them to the SRPMIC Tribal Council.

For this event, SDCAC members wanted to have some fun and meet new seniors. Throughout the event, guests mingled with one another as well as SRPMIC President Delbert W. Ray Sr. and Council members Jenelle Howard and Archie Kashoya. Each went around greeting the seniors.

Everyone enjoys a brisket dinner at the Salt River Community Building.
Senior Center Coordinator Stan Overturf emceed the event. He started things off with a joke that made the seniors laugh, and then he introduced the SDCAC committee members. “I have been working for Senior Services for little over two years now and enjoy working with everyone,” Overturf said.

After dinner, SDCAC members shared a short introduction followed by a Q&A session. One member was asked, “What would you like to see as a goal for SDCAC?”

Board member Maria Chavez, who has served for two consecutive years, responded, “I feel the goal for SDCAC is try to strive for [solving any of the concerns], but some things don’t move as quickly as we want them to. But to hear your concern means a lot. I know we helped resolve issues from our listening session we had back in 2015, [when we talked about seniors] to have a place to stay, like a rest home type of facility. That is still being discussed, about how we can go about getting that. We hope to see you come to our SDCAC meetings. They are open. We also want to encourage you to fill out an application to be on the committee. You can make a difference and put your two cents in.”

Two friends catch up at the SDCAC meet-and-greet. Serena Padilla gives an introduction to the guests at the SDCAC meet-and-greet.
Other board members were asked various questions to give the audience a little information about themselves. In addition to Chavez, board members include LaBerta Collins, Leonard Dallas, Karen James, Lauretta Johnson, Serena Padilla, Louis “Gurley” Shaw and Gene Andreas whose term ended that evening. The SDCAC is currently working to fill a vacancy on the board for a representative from the Salt River District; any senior who is interested in becoming a SDCAC board member is encouraged to reach out. Contact SDCAC Recording Secretary Connie Carlisle at (480) 262-2362.

For more information on Senior Services events, check out their calendar each newspaper.